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Pedants' Paradise


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#3646 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 07:26

"did" and "didn't" take infinitives, which is why I suggested "use" not "used", although wrong. "Ought" is not an infinitive, it is an obsolete past tense/subjunctive of "owe".

"It didn't ought to" is something I would only expect to hear in an American comedy about the working classes.

It is curious that I'd be comfortable saying, and do say, "I ought not to be doing this" but I'm uncomfortable saying "I used not to do this".


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#3647 Aquarelle

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 09:53

I got lost on the headscarf bit, elimimele. I am well past middle age but have never worn a headscarf!

S o did I. I even thought it might be a reference to the queen!  :D


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#3648 RoseRodent

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 10:03

Where my dad comes from the local dialect construction is "I would can" (I could) and "I wouldn't can" (I couldn't) and that's extended in a similar way to "I wouldn't should" for things you ought not. He got in trouble on his last day at a very posh boarding school for this mouthful:

"If you wouldn't've could've lent me the money I never would've could've managed, but you really wouldn't should've". My brain!
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#3649 Tenor Viol

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 11:24

I don't have issues with "I ought not..." or, "I used not to...". The latter I have used, the former possibly - not sure.  


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#3650 dorfmouse

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 12:11

Does anyone use "ought" for nought/zero any more?
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#3651 Edwardo

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 13:30

Does anyone use "ought" for nought/zero any more?

 

When referring to years between 2001-2009 I sometimes use the construction "ought-eight" or similar.


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#3652 Maizie

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 15:10

My understanding was:

Nought = zero

Naught = nothing

Aught = anything

Never come across aught for nothing, but it is, as they say, A Thing: https://grammarist.com/usage/aught/

 

Remember making my mother laugh enormously as a child by asking what 'nowt' was - "the bread with nowt taken out" made it seem like an ingredient to me!


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#3653 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 16 August 2021 - 15:19

"aught" means "something".

Chambers says "ought" means both "aught" and is also a non-standard corruption of "naught"


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#3654 Maizie

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 09:22

Homophone antonyms.  For the times when English isn't confusing enough ;)


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#3655 Edwardo

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 10:42

"aught" means "something".

Chambers says "ought" means both "aught" and is also a non-standard corruption of "naught"

 

When I wrote upthread "When referring to years between 2001-2009 I sometimes use the construction "ought-eight" or similar" I feel I should clarify that I only ever speak these words, often in the manner of Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven.  Thus the spelling of my utterance is moot.


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#3656 katyjay

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 14:02

Seen on the M3:

"CCTV Cameras
Take Your Litter Home"

That's awfully nice of them, saves me the bother of cleaning up after myself....
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#3657 Norway

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 14:19

:lol: What nice obliging CCTV cameras!

 

Olympic swimmer post race interview: "I left everything in that pool!" :sick:


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#3658 Cyrilla

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 22:07

A friend of mine has just finished some orthodontic treatment.

 

She received an email from them, headed, 'We hope your smiling happy'.

 

:rolleyes:  :wacko:  :rolleyes:  :wacko:  :rolleyes:  :wacko:


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#3659 zwhe

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 10:59

I had a letter from the council (who don't believe my son is a student and think I have been trying to scam them for two years with my single person discount). NB - I am female with a name that is never used for men.

 

"Dear sirs,

Please provide an answer to all questions listed, making sure to fill in any boxes that have been added to help you provide the right information. Once you have answered all of the questions, please return this letter to us with proof of original documents."

 

They then not only proceed to ask me the same question twice, but have sent out a duplicate letter with the same date.

I am tempted to send proof of every single 'original document' I have in the house - shopping lists, my diary, my teaching notes... It wouldn't be so bad, but they sent a similar letter in May.


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#3660 Aquarelle

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Posted 29 September 2021 - 21:51

zwhe, I feel for you!


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